Friday, May 20, 2016

A little ingenuity

They say "necessity is the mother of invention" and I believe it's true. I couldn't help but think of this saying as I began packing for our upcoming trip to the beach. Beaches mean swimming and swimming means you need a bathing suit and what am I going to do? Number one, I don't have a bathing suit because I don't like to wear them in public and number two, I don't know how you swim with prostheses....The more I thought about it, the more concerned I became and the more I realized I had to come up with a solution. I'm sure they sell prosthetic breast forms made specifically for swimming but I don't have any of those and I'm sure they're very expensive. I bet I can come up with something, I thought to myself and then I got an idea.

My daughter and I were out shopping. We were perusing the aisles of T.J.Maxx for items we needed for our trip. As we went down the women's clothing aisle, we passed one of those U shaped neck pillows. Someone had apparently laid it down in the wrong place because it didn't belong with the women's pajamas. I picked it up and looked at it. The fabric was covered in red hearts and it was a cute print. I held it in my hands and marveled at how light weight it was. I wondered what it was made of so I looked closely at the tag. The tag said it contained microbeads. What are microbeads? I didn't really know, so I looked it up. The internet said they are tiny particles made from Styrofoam. Styrofoam floats! AHA!!! I bought that little U shaped pillow and took it home. I had a plan.

When I got home, I pulled the neck pillow out of my bag. I went into my sewing room and got a pair of scissors and walked back to my kitchen table. Opening up the neck pillow at one end, I was immediately sorry I did it. Millions of teeny, tiny little Styrofoam beads poofed up into the air. They were suddenly all over my kitchen! Thankfully, I was able to pinch the neck of the pillow closed and contain the rest of the beads before they escaped.

I took one of my breast forms out of my bra and got a piece of paper. I traced around the form and took my "pattern" into my sewing room where I cut out two pieces of fabric. I sewed the pieces together leaving a small opening at one end for stuffing. When I'd sewn both breast forms, I brought them into the kitchen for filling. I took a small measuring cup and scooped a cup full of microbeads from the neck pillow. They clung to the sides of the measuring cup and some spilled out onto the floor. It was very difficult to get the microbeads into the new breast form but I was diligent and patient. After getting a "pleasing" amount of beads into the form, I handed it to my husband and asked him to feel how light it was. He held it in his hands and said it felt like air. I filled up the other breast form and went back into my sewing room to sew up the openings. When I'd completed the sewing, I took my new microbead boobs and slipped them into my bra. They were extremely light and I barely knew I had anything on at all! I was very pleased with the result and wondered how these lightweight breast forms would do in a bathing suit and in water.

The breast forms are packed in my suitcase and ready to go. In a few days, we'll be on our way and the new microbead boobs will get their first test run. I'm hoping they'll stay in the suit and not become little floating buoys. I'd hate to have to yell at a little kid, "Hey! Give me back my boob!" I'm sure the child would be mortified and the parents would probably think I was a kook. So we shall see how these feathery light forms hold up. I'll give you a report when I get back but until then, remember..."necessity is the mother of invention." If you have a problem, think about it and I'm sure you can come up with a solution that works for you, too!

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